Smart home products are designed to make life easier. And if you’re like most of us, having the morning routine – from wake up to out the door – run more smoothly can make the whole day better.
Whether you’re an up and at ‘em go-getter or slow goer, we’ve got some gadgets designed to make your mornings a whole lot smarter.
EMBER SELF-WARMING MUGS
No morning routine is complete without coffee (or tea!).
You take great care to make yourself a perfect cup but then it just sits there – on your desk, in your car, or on the countertop. By the time you remember it an hour later you have to microwave it, and sometimes this cycle continues over and over throughout the morning.
By the second or third warming, it just doesn’t taste the same.
The Ember self-warming ceramic mug will keep your coffee warm until you’re ready to drink it.
To set the temperature, you can twist the bottom of the mug until you get to your preferred temp, or use the Ember App to change the temperature remotely. Your drink will stay warm, or hot, to the last drop.
For added convenience, you can create presets of different temperatures in the app. So if you like your coffee extra hot and your tea just warm, no need to manually program in the changes each time.
The self-warming ceramic mug costs $80.
If you take your coffee on the go, the ember self-warming travel mug is great for keeping your beverage warm all day, and safely spill-free in your mug.
The Ember Self-warming travel mug is available for $149.95.
Both mugs come with a small charging pad that will refill your mug’s power by simply placing it on the pad.
PHILIPS SOMNEO SLEEP AND WAKE UP LIGHT
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your snooze button?
It’s time to find a better way to wake up. Those that works with your body’s circadian rhythms lead to a smoother transition from sleep to awake and can leave you feeling better rested and ready to take on the day.
Philips Somneo wake up light is an alarm clock that wakes you up using natural light and sound. First, a soft light gently builds in a sunrise simulation a few moments before the time you need to be out of bed. At your designated wake time, audio is added to the light to ease you the rest of the way to awake. Choose between natural wake-up sounds like a bird in the forest or zen garden. Or opt for ambient music or the sounds favorite radio station or music playlist.
Philips Somneo doesn’t just assist you in waking up.
- It can also help you relax and fall asleep thanks to light-guided breathing and relaxation exercises.
- Nearing bedtime, the light will adjust to a level that is conducive to winding down.
- In case you’re up in the middle of the night and need to turn on Somneo, it’ll give you just enough light to find your way in the dark without disturbing your sense of day and night, allowing you to fall back asleep easier.
Philips Somneo is “clinically proven to improve your general well-being after waking up.”
There are 5 versions of the wake up light starting from $50.
ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM
The shower is the heart and soul of the morning routine.
It snaps you out of your dream-like slumber and freshens you up to take on the day. Take it up a notch and get your wake-up on with a shower dance party!
Ultimate Ear’s Wonderboom waterproof portable speakers are perfect shower companion. You can hang it or just rest it on a shelf, and it’s waterproof design will keep working even in the shower stream.
Don’t be fooled by its small body. It’s capable of delivering a big sound. Listen to your wake-up tunes in the shower (or your podcast, audiobook, etc) or bring it into the kitchen with you.
There are lots of fun colors to choose from and it only costs $99.
BELKIN WEMO SMART PLUG
Belkin’s Wemo smart plug makes just about anything you plug into it smarter, and – like many other smart home gadgets – are conveniently available through Verizon Wireless.
Plug in anything you want to be able to turn on and off either remotely or on a schedule, like a lamp, space heater, or coffee maker, and the Belkin Wemo plug gives you smart control over just about any “dumb” device.
Pair it with a home assistant like Amazon’s Echo or Google Home and you’ll get basic voice control over your device without having to upgrade bulbs or appliances.
For example, let’s say you like a warm bathroom.
Have your space heater switch on 10 minutes before you’ll be stumbling in. And if you’re the type to second guess whether you’ve switched something off, just use your smartphone to check from wherever you are when you think of it.
If you’ve left your heater on, switch it off using your phone or from the kitchen using your Alexa or Google Home.
You can get your hands on the wemo smart plug for $35 from Verizon.
ADDING ALEXA TO THE MIX
Smart Home assistants like Google Home and Alexa give you voice control over a number of these devices and others. But even if you don’t pair your Alexa device with a smart gadget, she can make your morning better all by “herself.”
Here are our favorite ways to use Alexa to make mornings better and smarter.
- Flash briefing
Want to catch up on content you’re interested in?
Just tell Alexa to “give me a flash briefing” and it’ll provide a series of brief updates on topics like weather, news, comedy, technology or sports. Just use your Alexa account to select the news sources you’re interested in and the order you want them to be included in your flash briefing.
- Gives you the weather report
Nothing is worse than being ill-prepared for adverse weather. Save yourself the trouble of a hairy situation by having Alexa provide you an updated weather report for the day. If you say, “Alexa, what will the weather be like today?” she’ll give you the overview for the day in your current location. You can request specific times of day, and different geographical locations (or even different days) if you’re preparing for a trip.
Arm yourself with an umbrella, sunscreen, or whatever else the weather requires.
- She’ll tell you a joke
Laughter decreases stress hormones and can definitely get your day started off on the right foot.
Ask Alexa to tell you a joke and she’ll rattle off a family-friendly giggle-inducer hat you’re welcome to repeat to your co-workers (so you get to seem like that funny morning person, even if you’d rather still be in bed).
- She’ll tell you what’s on your calendar
We’ve all got busy schedules. To stay on top of it all, most of us save appointments and make notes in our calendar.
Get ready for what your day has in store by starting the day with a review of your upcoming engagements.
Simply link your calendar app with Alexa in your Amazon account and ask, “Alexa, what’s on my calendar today?”
There are so many more ways that Alexa can help your morning go smoothly. Here are a few more options to try:
START YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT
How you start your mornings define the rest of your day. Smart gadgets like these can help you gain time, energy, and live each day to your full potential.